Memoirs of a Teacher
Oct 7, 2008 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (T 6017 Views
It was a year ago when we moved to Korea. A thousand miles away from our hometown in Texas, and everything seemed very strange. The cold Korean breeze rushed to meet us at the airport. Although basked with the delightful winter seasons from the United States, I was expecting a warmer welcome during our arrival in Korea. But that too, like everything else, is part of my illusions of Asia. We were foreigners, in a wonderful new land, and we knew, the moment we arrived that we were in for quite an adventure.
My mother was on assignment from WorknPlay.co.kr , South Korea's job placement agency for ESL teachers. Two months ago I was debating with my mother, about ESL jobs. I was new to the whole "English as a Second Language"teaching field. I knew there were better benefits for her in the local schools in Texas. And I never fully grasped the gravity of her reasons to teach in Korea.
One night, my mother spoke to me. Teaching, she said, is more than just about fees or benefits. It is a noble calling,where the need to teach, to instruct, and to mold young people to become what they can be is the ultimate reason for the profession to thrive. The moment you start counting the fees, or the working hours, the benefits, or criticizing the place where you are teaching, or who you are teaching - it would be wise for you to start looking for another profession. Her lectures would often end with her famous lines, "The message and the knowledge I give to those who listen are far more precious than what they pay me. And someday, when these kids turn to grown up men and women, and become great help to society, I, then would have received ten times my reward."
My mother and I braved Korea. Armed with just her TESOL certificate, she brazenly faced her new employers at WorknPlay.co.kr . And a few days later, she met her class. Seeing my mother teach, gave me a great sense of pride. I could see myself in the students she teaches everyday. I realized then how important her job is.
She was a teacher by profession, as well as by heart. Teaching English was a worthwhile activity for her and she loved every moment of it. She was a teacher for as long as I can remember.
And I followed at her footsteps.